Senators Disagree Over Ownership Rule Remedy

Senators Disagree Over Ownership Rule Remedy
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Members of the Senate are wrestling with how to block or modify the FCC’s new rules governing media ownership.
None of the lawmakers has seriously discussed changing the radio portion of the new rules, though some use radio consolidation as an example of what could happen with TV.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he personally doesn’t support a bill by fellow committee member Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, to restore the national TV audience cap back to 35%, but he said he’s bending to the will of fellow committee members and plans to mark up the bill next week.
A similar bill has been introduced in the House, but its fate is unclear since McCain’s counterpart, Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., is supportive of the FCC changes.
Other lawmakers on the committee, Democrats Bryon Dorgan, N.D. and Fritz Hollings, S.C., have discussed attaching an amendment to the FCC’s upcoming appropriation measure, preventing the agency from spending federal money to pay for the rules changes.
Presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said Tuesday he would file a “resolution of disapproval” to block the media rules from becoming effective, according to published accounts.
McCain expressed his disappointment with fellow Commerce committee members for already deciding to put limits on the FCC’s upcoming appropriation before the hearing. “That’s not what this committee is about.”

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